Welcome to the city of Branson where entertainment and adventure collide in a dazzling display of Midwestern charm. This lively city, nestled in the heart of the Ozarks, is a treasure trove of bucket list experiences. From soaring through the skies on ziplines to exploring the depths of caves to captivating live shows. The Branson, Missouri attractions are endless!
So buckle up, folks, as we embark on a whirlwind tour of what the city has to offer, from the best Branson, Missouri attractions to adrenaline-pumping adventures to captivating live shows and everything in between. Let’s dive into this exhilarating playground of entertainment and create memories that will have you saying, “Branson, you’ve stolen my heart!”
The Best Attractions, Shows & Things to Do in Branson, Missouri
1. Ride the Copperhead Mountain Coaster
Boasting the title of Branson’s longest downhill mountain coaster, the Copperhead Mountain Coaster is an exhilarating ride that will take you weaving through captivating loops, heart-stopping drops, and breathtaking scenery along its impressive 3,350-foot track. And with an uphill stretch of 1,450 feet, you will revel in the thrill of a nearly mile-long coaster journey.
2. Fly on the Vigilante Ziprider
The Vigilante Extreme Ziprider at the Shepherd of the Hills will have you suspended high above the picturesque Ozark Mountains, then launched 140 feet in the air from the open-air deck at Inspiration Tower.
As you zip along the over half a mile long zipline (reaching speeds of up to 55 mph), you’ll witness the beauty of the Ozarks from an unparalleled perspective.
3. Explore one of the Many Caverns
Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Ozark Mountains, Branson (and Missouri in general) is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The region is renowned for its cool caverns that offer a glimpse into the earth’s hidden wonders.
Among these natural marvels are Talking Rocks Cavern, where visitors can explore underground formations and learn about the cave’s geological history. Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail beckons with its enchanting trail, winding through lush forests and leading to a captivating cave filled with awe-inspiring rock formations (and a bar!). For history buffs, Smallin Civil War Cave presents a unique blend of natural splendor and historical significance, showcasing its role as a hiding place for soldiers during the Civil War.
4. Play Mini Golf
There’s never a shortage of fun things to do in Branson, Missouri, and playing a game of mini-golf is one of them. This Ozark town is not only famous for its vibrant entertainment scene, but also for its fantastic mini golf courses!.
Two popular putt-putt courses are Pirates Cove Adventure Golf and Dinosaur Canyon, where you can embark on a voyage through a pirate-themed course or explore the prehistoric era surrounded by life-sized dinosaurs.
5. SPEND THE DAY AT DOGWOOD CANYON NATURE PARK
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is a 10,000 acre playground that offers an array of cool wildlife encounters and outdoor activities. From tranquil walking trails to horseback riding to wildlife tram tours (you might see bison!), there are adventures for all ages. Plus, there’s a remarkable treehouse meticulously crafted by Animal Planet’s esteemed Treehouse Masters.
6. Take in the Sealife at Aquarium at the Boardwalk
Step into a mesmerizing underwater journey in the heart of Branson at the Aquarium at the Boardwalk, home to over 250 marine species like sharks, octopi, rays, starfish, and more. Starting from the massive octopus sculpture at the entrance, you’ll be taken to different exhibits featuring vibrant coral reefs, tunnels surrounded by sharks and rays, jellyfish-filled infinity rooms, and other exciting sights to ‘sea.’
Don’t miss seeing the 7D theater show that will have you feeling like you are literally under the sea. But, be careful if you suffer from motion sickness, I left feeling a little bit queasy.
7. Try Clay Shooting at Big Cedar Lodge
It’s not everyday that you’ll get a chance to show off your aiming skills through clay shooting, and Big Cedar Lodge does just that. This premier outdoor resort offers a top-notch clay shooting experience (as well as many other activities) set amidst the stunning beauty of the Ozark Mountains. Whether you’re honing your skills or trying clay shooting for the first time, you’ll enjoy the fun of hitting flying targets in a safe and picturesque setting.
8. Expect the Unexpected at Beyond the Lens!
Beyond the Lens is a cutting-edge attraction that offers a unique blend of technology and entertainment ( ‘techno-tainment’). Step into a world where reality and fantasy intertwine as you explore over 150 mind-bending exhibits and interactive displays such as the Human Kaleidoscope, 2-minute escape rooms, and Walk the Plank.
One of the highlights is the FlyRide experience, where you’re strapped into a state-of-the-art motion simulator that will have you soaring through the skies and traversing stunning landmarks across the globe, like the Grand Canyon.
9. See a Live Show
With its impressive lineup of live shows and events that cater to a variety of tastes and interests, it’s no wonder Branson is known as the ‘Live Entertainment Capital of the World.’ While there are plenty of theaters (they have over fifty of them!) and shows to choose from, here are some of our top picks:
Haygoods: Centered around the electrifying performances by the talented Haygood siblings, this high-energy show features a blend of music, choreography, and mind-blowing special effects that will leave you amazed. You can pre-purchase tickets here: The Haygoods advance tickets.
Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner: This show combines a hearty home-cooked meal with an incredible display of horsemanship, thrilling stunts, and toe-tapping musical numbers.
Dean Z: The Ultimate Elvis: Elvis fans unite! Dean Z’s remarkable tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll captures the spirit and charisma of Elvis Presley, delivering a memorable performance that will transport you back in time.
The Petersens: A talented family band showcasing their musical prowess with a mix of bluegrass, country, and gospel music. Prepare to be enchanted by their harmonies, instrumental skills, and heartfelt performances. You can purchase tickets in advance here: The Petersens tickets.
Queen Esther at Sight & Sound: Brings the story of Queen Esther and other biblical stories to life on a grand scale. Witness captivating visuals, stunning costumes, and a powerful storyline as you immerse yourself in this remarkable production.
10. Go on an Adventure at Bigfoot Fun Park
Unleash your inner adventurer at Bigfoot Fun Park, a destination that combines excitement, mystery, and the legend of Bigfoot.
Get your adrenaline pumping as you take on a true free-fall experience at their 200-foot high Gravity Bomb and Super Sling, or test your skills on the multi-level Yeti Fun Zone maze and Bigfoot Arcade. Plus, don’t forget to experience the heart-pounding excitement of the Bigfoot-themed mini-golf course, as well as their 8D interactive Action Cinema Ride.
11. Ride the Branson Ferris Wheel
Take your Branson experience to new heights with a ride on the iconic Branson Ferris Wheel at The Tracks Family Fun Parks. This towering 150-foot structure offers more than just a thrilling experience; it provides an unparalleled vantage point to take in the beauty of the city and its surroundings.
As you ascend, the vibrant cityscape transforms into a breathtaking panorama, revealing the rolling hills of the Ozark Mountains in the distance. Whether you’re getting a new perspective of the city, taking the opportunity to check “kiss on the top of a ferris wheel” off your Couple’s Bucket List, or simply taking in the awe-inspiring views, the ride will be memorable.
12. Do 360 Spin Outs on Branson Jet Boats
Buckle up and hold on tight as you embark on a wild ride across the waters of Lake Taneycomo aboard the Branson Jet Boats. Brace yourself for 360 spin-outs that will leave you breathless, as the boat whips around with thrilling precision. Feel the adrenaline surge as the captain executes jaw-dropping power slides, sliding sideways with controlled chaos.
And just when you thought the excitement couldn’t get any higher, prepare for heart-pounding high-speed bow dunks, where the boat plunges into the water, creating a spectacular splash.
This tour can fill up quickly, so book your tickets online here: Branson Jet Boats Adventure Tour
13. Shop ’til You Drop at Branson Landing
This vibrant waterfront complex offers a myriad of upscale boutiques, specialty stores, and renowned brands that will satisfy every shopaholic’s desires. From fashion-forward clothing to unique gifts and souvenirs, name it, Branson Landing has it all.
As you explore the diverse range of shops, immerse yourself in a world of retail therapy, where you can shop and discover the latest trends. You can also take a leisurely stroll along the scenic boardwalk, enjoying the charming ambiance and stunning views of Lake Taneycomo. Beyond shopping, Branson Landing also features a variety of tasty dining options, live entertainment, and even a cool water and fire fountain show.
14. Get Close to the Animals at Branson’s Promised Land Zoo
The 75-acre Promised Land Zoo is one of the top zoos in the US and offers an up close and personal experience with a diverse range of exotic creatures. Stroll through beautifully landscaped habitats as you encounter lions, giraffes, kangaroos, and many more fascinating species.
Engage in interactive experiences like feeding and petting certain animals, allowing for unforgettable memories, and the zoo’s commitment to conservation and education shines through informative exhibits and knowledgeable staff.
15. Take a Ride on the Showboat Branson Belle
The Showboat Branson Belle is a magnificent paddlewheel riverboat that combines dining, entertainment, and breathtaking scenery. Set sail on a 2.5-hour journey at Table Rock Lake as you indulge in a delectable 3-course meal prepared by award-winning chefs.
As you savor each bite, be captivated by a live show featuring world-class performers, including singers, dancers, and magicians.
16. Take a Ride on the Branson Scenic Railway
Climb aboard the vintage passenger train and be transported to a bygone era as you traverse the stunning landscapes of the Ozark Mountains at the Branson Scenic Railway. Located in downtown Branson, they offer different excursions, such as the daily roundtrip, evening dinner train, and the ‘Polar Express,’ which happens after dark during November and December.
Relax in the comfort of restored antique cars and soak in the panoramic views through large picture windows, or get on your feet and explore the historic train. As the train chugs along, knowledgeable guides share stories and fascinating facts about the region’s history and landmarks.
17. Feed the Beauties at Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure
Looking for some unique ideas on what to do in Branson, Missouri? Then why not try feeding butterflies at the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure?
This butterfly aviary and rainforest discovery center lets you experience the enchantment of feeding the ‘beauties’ with nectar that inhabit this tropical paradise. Step into a lush world filled with vibrant flora and over a thousand fluttering butterflies of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Aside from the butterflies, you can also enjoy other activities inside, such as going through the tangled Banyan Tree Adventure, getting lost in the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze, seeing different reptiles and amphibians at the science center, and watching a 3D film about the migration of the butterflies at the theater.
18. Explore the College of the Ozarks
Make a meaningful addition to your bucket list by visiting the College of the Ozarks, an extraordinary institution that offers a one-of-a-kind educational experience. Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Ozark Mountains, this renowned college provides a unique opportunity to witness the fusion of academic excellence and work education. Explore the picturesque campus, soak in the inspiring atmosphere, and learn about the institution’s dedication to providing students with a tuition-free education in exchange for their participation in a work program.
There are plenty of notable sights inside the campus, including the Ralph Foster Museum, a treasure trove of Ozarks history and culture; the Keeter Center, a stunning lodge-style building standing as a focal point on campus, providing elegant accommodations, fine dining experiences, and warm hospitality; and the iconic Williams Memorial Chapel, a picturesque structure built in 1956.
19. Take the Downtown Trolley
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, the Downtown Trolley adds a touch of vintage charm to your Branson experience. Hop aboard ‘Sparky the Trolley’ as it takes you to one of 12 stops in downtown Branson, including the Branson Landing, Branson Convention Center, and Liberty Plaza. And best of all? It’s entirely free! You can check out the map of the trolley route here.
20. Climb at Fritz’s Adventure
Experience thrilling adventure and exhilarating challenges at Fritz’s Adventure, an action-packed attraction in Branson. This 80,000-square-foot indoor adventure park offers a wide array of activities that cater to adventurers of all ages.
Test your agility on towering ropes courses, conquer massive rock walls, and navigate through underground tunnels and mazes. Dive into a world of excitement as you zip line through the air and freefall from towering heights.
21. Get an Old Time Tintype Photo
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then consider your travel adventures a novel waiting to be written. While our trusty camera or smartphones usually does the trick, why not take a ‘vintage’ memorabilia of your trip to Branson by taking a tintype photo at the TNT Old Time Photo near Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner?
Slip into different authentic period costumes as you channel your inner pioneer, outlaw, or even royalty while striking a pose in front of meticulously crafted sets. Let the skilled photographers transport you to a bygone era, capturing your timeless image in sepia tones. Definitely a great addition to your list of things of what to do in Branson, Missouri!
22. See the Stars at the Hollywood Wax Museum
Step into the glitz and glamor of the Hollywood Wax Museum, where you can mingle with your favorite celebrities, past and present. Pose with Hollywood legends like Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, or rub shoulders with music icons like Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, Elvis Presley.
Sports enthusiasts can get up close to athletes like Muhammad Ali and Tiger Woods, while movie buffs can share the spotlight with superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman.
23. See the Oddities at Ripley’s Believe It or Not
Whether you’re fascinated by the strange and unusual or simply love a good dose of wonder, Ripley’s Believe It or Not is an extraordinary museum that showcases a mind-boggling collection of oddities and curiosities from around the world. From shrunken heads to bizarre artifacts, each exhibit invites you to question the boundaries of possibility.
24. Have Fun at Silver Dollar City
Located along Highway 76, west of Branson, the beloved 61-acre Silver Dollar City theme park captures the spirit of the 1880s with its captivating blend of entertainment, craftsmanship, and exhilarating rides.
Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of yesteryear as you explore the park’s charming streets lined with shops, restaurants, and talented artisans. Brace yourself for heart-pounding roller coasters, water rides, and mesmerizing live shows that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
25. Relax at Table Rock Lake
Escape to the tranquil beauty of Table Rock Lake, a shimmering oasis nestled in the heart of the Ozarks. This sprawling reservoir offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Some great spots around the lake include Moonshine Beach, the Beaver, and Cape Fair, where you can immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters as you swim, kayak, or paddleboard through the scenic coves.
You can also cast your fishing line and reel in a prized catch of bass or trout or explore the shoreline on a leisurely hike, basking in the serenity of the surrounding forested hills. There are also campsites and RV parks around, so you can bask in nature’s beauty even more.
26. Go to the Titanic Museum
The Titanic Museum pays tribute to the iconic RMS Titanic and its passengers, transporting visitors back to the fateful voyage in 1912. Step into the grand replica of the ship and explore meticulously recreated interiors, including luxurious cabins, the Grand Staircase, and the Promenade Deck.
What’s fascinating about the museum is that you’ll be given a boarding pass of one of the ship’s original passengers, where you can try to find out about that person as you go through the interactive exhibits, personal artifacts, and compelling stories from the historic event. At the end, you’ll find out whether the passenger survived or not, adding a more personal aspect to the tour.
27. Race Some Go-Karts at Track Family Fun Parks
When it comes to non-stop fun and excitement, the Track Family Fun Parks will surely deliver. One of the things you can do in this family-friendly destination is ride on a go-kart, which features twelve different tracks catering to thrill-seekers of all ages.
Test your mettle at the four-story Heavy Metal High Rise, or take on classic concrete tracks. For the kids, the rookie and kiddie tracks are a safe and fun way to experience go-karting and compete for victory.
28. Visit the 26. Veterans Memorial Museum
The Veterans Memorial Museum is a museum that pays tribute to the sacrifices and valor of America’s military veterans during the 20th century, providing a comprehensive and educational experience. They have an extensive collection of over 2,000 rare military artifacts, including vehicles, uniforms, and weaponry, which chronicle the nation’s military history from the Revolutionary War to the present day.
Notable exhibits include the World War II display, showcasing a D-Day landing scene, and the Vietnam War exhibit, featuring a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
29. Experience WonderWorks
WonderWorks is a 3-story interactive museum offering a fascinating blend of education and entertainment (or ‘edu-tainment’). Step inside the iconic upside-down building and embark on a journey through over 100 hands-on exhibits that defy the laws of physics.
Experience natural disasters in the Hurricane Shack, test your agility in the Space Discovery Zone, and become a human lightning rod at the Tesla Coil. Plus, delve into the mysteries of light and sound, explore virtual reality simulations, and outplay other players in a game of laser tag.
30. Celebrate Christmas in Branson
From November 1st to January 7th, Branson transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a plethora of festive attractions and heartwarming traditions.
In fact, during the Christmas season, even iconic landmarks and beloved attractions undergo a Yuletide transformation. Picture yourself strolling through Branson Landing, adorned with dazzling lights and festive decorations that create an enchanting atmosphere. And don’t miss the Ferris Wheel, which comes alive during the evenings with its mesmerizing ‘Electrify Christmas’ light display. These are just a glimpse of the many captivating sights you’ll encounter, showcasing Branson in a whole new magical light.
If you’re a Christmas fanatic don’t miss getting tickets to the Branson VIP Christmas Light Tour where they will take you transport you around the city to see a sparkling display.
31. Tour the Branson Auto and Farm Museum
For fans of antique automobiles or agricultural history, a visit to the Branson Auto and Farm Museum is a must. It showcases an impressive collection of over 100 classic cars, vintage tractors, and other machinery that represent the rich heritage of transportation and farming. Admire the meticulously restored vehicles, each telling a unique story of craftsmanship and innovation.
32. See the Branson Celebrity Car Museum
Also on Highway 76 is another car museum called the Branson Celebrity Car Museum. The museum features an extraordinary collection of iconic vehicles from popular movie and TV shows, such as the Mystery Machine, Lightning McQueen, and Bumblebee, to even the DeLorean time machine. See how many of them you can name and recognize?
33. Go Ziplining
Nothing is more breathtaking than seeing the beauty of the Ozark Mountains, especially while you’re flying through the treetops at 30 miles an hour. Branson offers different ziplining opportunities, and here are some of the best places to do so.
Shepherd of the Hills: Soar across multiple ziplines, including the Vigilante ZipRider, for an exhilarating journey through the scenic beauty of the Ozarks (this is where I ziplined!)
Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline: A unique zipline where, instead of the traditional harness or gear, you’ll sit and buckle up on a side-by-side seat as you slide above Lake Taneycomo.
Where to Stay
Experience the ultimate comfort and convenience during your stay in Branson with Rentbranson.com. Whether you’re looking for a cozy cabin nestled in the woods, or a spacious waterfront condo, you’ll surely find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs.
Enjoy the privacy of a fully-equipped rental, with amenities like private pools, hot tubs, and game rooms, ensuring a memorable and relaxing stay in the heart of Branson.
*I stayed in an the On The Water property that was on Table Rock Lake and it was nothing short of AMAZING!
And that wraps up our list of the best Branson, Missouri attractions and activities. As you can see, Branson is a treasure trove of captivating experiences that will leave you longing for more. From the electrifying live shows that have earned it the title of “Live Music Show Capital of the World” to the quirky and offbeat attractions that add a touch of whimsy to your visit, this vibrant city has something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring the depths of enchanting caves, gliding down the tracks of thrilling coasters, or trying your hand at clay shooting amidst the scenic beauty of Big Cedar Lodge, Branson never fails to deliver excitement and adventure.
Best Tips for Visiting Branson Missouri
How to Get to Branson Missouri: Springfield-Branson National Airport is a major hub and most airlines will fly into it. You can easily check for the best fare deals at Skyscanner, which also has the option to choose ‘cheapest month’ as the departure to find the lowest priced dates to fly to your destination. From the airport to the city center, you can take the bus, taxi, car rental or shuttle.
Getting Around: Driving in a new destination can be a bit of a challenge, but if you choose to rent a car, RentalCars.com has great deals. If you are not renting a car, there are plenty of other options. Taxis, Lyft and Uber are available all over the cit. For a more budget friendly option, you can take the free downtown Branson Trolley or take the bus.
Best Time to Visit Branson Missouri: Branson Missouri is a great place to visit any time of the year, but some seasons might suit you better than others. If you love the festive vibe and the snowy scenery of Branson, you’ll have a blast in November and December. But be prepared to share the fun with lots of other visitors and pay more for your accommodation. If you prefer a quieter and cooler experience, you’ll enjoy spring (March-May) or fall (September-October). These are the best times to explore the natural beauty and the thrilling attractions of Branson, such as Silver Dollar City, Table Rock Lake, and Branson Landing. And if you’re up for some summer fun and excitement, you can visit in June-August. This is when Branson offers tons of family-friendly activities and events, such as Branson Landing’s Summer Concert Series, Star-Spangled Summer, and Country Music Days.
Where to Stay in Branson Missouri: It’s best to stay near the city center, public transportation or the area that you will be spending the most time in. Historic Branson Hotel is a great choice in the Downtown Branson. For something on the less expensive side, try Carriage House Inn located in Branson. For a hotel with a little more extravagance, book a room at the Hilton Promenade Branson Landing. Or search some great deals on hotels of your choice at Booking.com. If you’re looking for more of a home atmosphere (or are traveling with a group of people), head over to VRBO that has houses, apartments and even just a room for rent in every price range.
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